Senate urged to pass bill granting tax exemption on poll service earnings

Published January 27, 2022, 6:10 PM

by Ben Rosario

Asst. Minority Leader and ACT Teachers Representative France Castro has appealed to senators to pass the bill exempting from taxes allowances and other earnings received by persons rendering election service.

ACT Teachers Partylist Rep. France Castro

Castro said House Bill 9652 has been approved in the Lower House may be implemented in the May elections if passed on time in the Senate.

“The 2022 elections are drawing near, our public school teachers urgently clamoring to the Senate to pass its counterpart bills exempting from taxes all amounts granted to persons rendering election service for local and national elections,” said Castro in a press statement released on Thursday, Jan. 27.

She noted that most of election service volunteers are public school teachers who have to face the dangers of COVID-19 infection while on duty.

The Senate has three remaining sessions left to pass the measure since the Lower House will start its election campaign break on February 2.

“Imposing tax on the honoraria and allowances of election service volunteers destroys the spirit and intent of the Election Service Reform Act, which is to compensate the hardships of persons rendering election service. They must therefore enjoy the compensation in full and not bear additional burdens,” said Castro.

HB 9652 or An Act Exempting from Income Taxation the Honoraria, Allowances, and Other Financial Benefits of Persons Rendering Service During an Election Period, Amending for the Purpose Sec. 32 (B) (7) of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 was passed on 3rd and final reading last August 23, 2021 and was transmitted to the Senate the following day.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian authored the counterpart measure Senate Bill 1193.

“Allowances received by election service volunteer workers are mere reimbursements for the expenses incurred by poll workers. Imposing a 5% tax on these allowances is simply not right,” Castro stated.

“Further, the honoraria they receive is not even enough to compensate for the service and sacrifices they endure just to be able to serve in the elections,” she stressed.